Cordless Phone Radiation: Cordless Phones Even More Dangerous Than Cell Phones?

If you thought you could solve the problem of cell phone radiation by switching back to your home phone and your landline is a cordless phone, think again. Studies show that cordless or wireless telephones emit radiation just the same as cell phones.

In some cases cordless phones are more dangerous than cell phones.

Most cordless phones use DECT 6.0 (Digital European – version 6.0) technology. The handset and the base of the phone, emit pulsed radio frequency microwave radiation. Even when you don't receive calls.

Cordless Phones Emit Radio Frequency Microwave Radiation

Cordless phones emit a form of electromagnetic field called radio frequency microwave radiation. This radiation, although it is non-ionizing, and so has less energy than x-rays or gamma rays, a growing body of independent research links these exposures to a long list of disease including cancer.

Our governments, the companies selling these devices, the medical establishment and many so-called experts continue to say that this radiation is perfectly harmless but there is a lot evidence to show that this is not the case.

There are so many devices that emit this form of radiation (anything wireless or smart) in our homes, schools and workplaces, that our daily exposures are now at unprecedented levels.

High Power Digital Danger

We've always loved the idea of being able to talk to one another across distances. Tin cans attached to a long string were once used to communicate. In the 19th century we graduated to the telephone, ever since then have been refining and reinventing the “talking telegraph”.

Anyone older than forty remembers when all telephones had a cord attached to them, thus grounding them to the incoming telephone line–it was a cumbersome but effective. You might remember using extra-long phone lines to connect your phone to the jack so you could roam about your house. Even that was pretty liberating.

When the cordless home telephone came into being in the 1980s there was no going back. They quickly became the household norm.

In a matter of a very few years we went from relatively low power, low frequency analog phones to high power, higher frequency (some of the new phones operate at 5.8 Gigahertz) digital or pulsed radiation DECT models. Because telephone advances happened faster than we could understand the relationship between their radiation levels and cancer risk, cordless systems weren't viewed as a health problem. Not until cell phone radiation studies brought the risk of brain cancer to light.

cordless phone radiation

Cancer Link

Research from Swedish scientists concludes that cordless telephones raise your risk of developing cancer. After evaluating malignant brain tumor patients’ usage of cell phones vs. their usage of cordless house phones, they found the cancer risk was multiplied for those who used DECT cordless and combining the two made the risk even higher.

Another problem is the radiation levels. In some cases the radiation from a DECT cordless phone base is higher than the radiation levels found near a cell phone tower.

The third problem is that most cordless telephones emit radiation from the handset, as well as the base, at full power, even when the phone isn't in use.

The radiation from the DECT cordless handset and/or charger sends emissions throughout your entire house–all the time.

Watch my short video on cordless phone radiation to better understand what I'm talking about.


Is Cordless Phone Radiation Worse Than Cell Phone Radiation?

Yes, it is in some circumstances. With EMFs, proximity to the source (of the EMFs) and length of exposure are two very important factors.

Do you go to bed at night with your head just a few inches from a DECT cordless phone base? If you do you are exposing yourself to significant levels of radio frequency radiation, just at the time of day when your body is the most vulnerable. This is the worst type of cordless telephone radiation exposure.

Neither DECT phones nor cell phones are good for you in terms of radiation exposure, and certainly not in combination. It would be wisest to follow the advice of respected Harley Street physician Dr. David Dowson, “having a cordless phone is like having a mobile mast [cell phone tower] in your house. I'd recommend anyone who has one to switch to a plug-in phone.

How To Reduce Your Exposure

Throw away your cordless system and go back to using a corded phone. Problem solved!

It's that easy. But is it? I know you're listening to what I am saying here, but are you really ready for to take this step?

Don't feel guilty when you answer this. If I hadn't experienced electrical sensitivity I'd probably have a cordless phone just like everyone else.

Here's what you can do to minimize your EMF exposure and feel a little less guilty:

  • Unplug your cordless telephone at night (that's to say remove the plug from the electric socket on the wall) AND remove the handsets from areas where you spend time – even unplugged, charged handsets can still emit EMFs (handset seeking to connect with the base) until the battery has run down
  • Put the base of your cordless telephone at least 6 feet away from where you spend any significant amount of time (remember EMFs travel through walls)
  • Plug your phone in only when you use it. You might need to plug it in an hour or two before, but once charged most DECT phones have 4 or 5 days autonomy
  • Keep your conversations short and use the speakerphone function when you can so that you keep it away from your head as much as possible
  • Have at least one corded phone in your home, so if you do disconnect your cordless unit you've still got a phone to use

Are Low Radiation Eco Cordless Phones The Solution?

If you really can't live without your cordless phone then better to get a low EMF or eco-DECT cordless model. Low EMF DECT cordless phones like the Siemens Gigaset Cordless Phone still emit radiation but they have advantages. Here's what the Gigaset website has to say about ECO DECT mode:

  • it offers a reduction of transmitting power to almost zero when handset is docked with only one registered handset
  • it reduces the transmitting power by 80% (in comparison to when ECO Mode is not activated and Gigaset‘s conventional cordless phones), even when multiple handsets are registered and when the handset is not in the charger.
  • it offers variable reduction of transmitting power according to distance between handset and base station

I recently purchased a Siemens Gigaset cordless phone. I can confirm that they do not emit radiation when on standby.

BUT this function does need configuring. That's to say, the model that I received, when I took it out of the box it was operating like a normal DECT cordless unit and emitting EMFs.

In order to activate ECO DECT mode, press Menu – Settings – ECO dect – and deactivate the Maximum Range option. I was able to test this with my radio frequency (RF) meter.

Update June 2019: An alternative to the Siemens Gigaset range are the Panasonic Energy Star units – according to the manufacturer they have “Intelligent Eco mode which automatically lowers the power consumption when you're using the handset close to the base unit.

Low EMF Corded Phone – Better For your Health?

Even though a long telephone wire is a cumbersome mess, my advice is – play safe. Being tethered to your land line phone jack is a small price to pay for long term improved health.

If you are hesitating replacing your cordless DECT phone with a corded phone, don't hesitate any longer. Using a low EMF corded phone (thats to say a model which has an inbuilt speakerphone and jack, for corded headset, prefer “airtube” version) will reduce your EMF exposures significantly.

A basic model will suffice for most people, but more sophisticated corded telephones (no ear phone jack on this one) are also available with answering machine.

Another alternative is to try and find an old analog cordless phone not as safe as a corded phone but considered much safer than the DECT technology – works at a lower frequency – the EMFs are not pulsed.

Have You Got The Message?

Did you ‘get' that if you use your DECT cordless telephone near its base your exposures are higher? They're higher because you're exposing yourself to a double dose of EMFs. You get zapped with the radiation from the phone AND from the base unit.

Do you and your family a favor deal with your cordless phone radiation exposures today.


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  • Pedro Freitas said,

    Thanks Lloyd.
    Though I may not consider myself an ES, it’s been enlightning to read your articles.

  • Ruth Ruddock said,

    Lloyd, I am soon leaving my apartment to try to
    live in an RV (to get away from smart meters,
    and I will also have to give up my land line phone,
    and go to using my TracFone exclusively. I bought one
    of Dr. Mercola’s Blue Tube devices to connect to
    my cell phone in order to not have to hold it to
    my head. Am I protected adequately with that? Also,
    using a TracFone will be expensive for me…perhaps I should get a newer cell phone with a speaker phone
    feature on it?

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Ruth
    An airtube (or blue tube) is the better solution – speakerphone mode has the inconvenience of increasing EMFs from the battery – see

  • Barbara Burton said,

    Hello Lloyd.

    Can you help? My sister has for many years had trouble using land lines (not cordless). She gets severe earache and a scarlet face on the side against the phone. She now has to use the ‘hands free’ which is not very successful but does not cause the problems. We have tried in vain to find a reason for this.

  • Lloyd said,

    I used to get this kind of reaction before with landlines. The reason is probably a reaction to the particular frequency of EMFs being emitted by the phone. It could be the magnetic fields in the handset or the EMFs coming down the phone line and grounding through her. The easiest solution is to go hands free or purchase a low emf telephone – lessemf sell these.

  • Ehab S. said,

    Being ES, I got rid of all cordless phones in the house and I don’t see it a problem. An easy solution is to add many corded phones in the house so you can have good coverage all over the place. The challenge I am facing now is how to find a decent corded phone since it disappeared from most electronics stores.

  • varkey said,

    Thank you for that very enlightening piece, was about to pick up a cordless , when I ran through your article,now it will be plug and talk ! Thanks again !

  • Angela Albano said,

    Thanks, Llyod, I have been learning so much reading your articles. I now want to buy a corded land line phone but have not been able to find EMF information about corded phones. Do you have any information that would guide me in my choice, or do you know where I can fine it?

  • Angela Albano said,

    By the way, I saw the Panasonic phone offered on emfless and went on amazon to see what the reviews were for Panasonic phones like the one in the picture and there were negative comments about the speakerphone feature. Amazon had lower prices also. Is that phone on emfless the only one recommended?

  • Lloyd said,

    Hi Angela
    I don’t know of another corded phone better than this one, but so long as you can find a phone with speakerphone and corded jack, it will work just as well. Make sure you use a headset which uses “airtube” technology.

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